Canada joins hemispheric partners in referring Venezuela to ICC


September 26, 2018 - New York City, New York - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the referral of Venezuela to the International Criminal Court:

“Canada today joins Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru in referring the situation in Venezuela to the International Criminal Court.

“We have taken this significant action as a result of the numerous, credible reports alleging the commission of serious international crimes in Venezuela.

“Canada commends the diligent work and findings of the Panel of Independent International Experts, appointed by Secretary General of the Organization of American States, particularly the findings concerning crimes against humanity in Venezuela.

“The International Criminal Court has our full support and confidence.  We call on Venezuela to cooperate with the court.

“Canadians stand firmly with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to protect their most basic rights and freedoms. The perpetrators of international crimes must face justice.”

Quick facts

  • On September 14, 2017, the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General appointed a Panel of Independent International Experts, which included Canadian jurist Professor Irwin Cotler.
  • On February 8, 2018, Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Venezuela.
  • The Panel of Independent International Experts released a report on May 29, 2018, that concluded that there are reasonable grounds to presume that crimes against humanity, as defined in article 7 of the Rome Statute, may have been committed in Venezuela.
  • The OAS Secretary General has shared the report with the Prosecutor of the ICC.
  • On September 26, 2018, the Presidents and Prime Minister of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru signed a letter to the Prosecutor of the ICC that referred the situation in Venezuela to the ICC, based on the possibility that crimes against humanity have been committed.

Associated links   


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaFP
Like us on Facebook: Canada’s foreign policy - Global Affairs Canada

Page details

Date modified: